U.S. wary of Rwandan role in DRC

July 24, 2013 at 12:28 PM

WASHINGTON, July 24 (UPI) -- There is a "credible body of evidence" to support allegations Rwanda is aiding rebels fighting in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the U.S. government said.

Human Rights Watch published a report this week saying it had evidence taken from first-hand accounts of Rwandan support for the March 23 Movement, which last year occupied parts of eastern DRC.

The Rwandan government denies the allegations. Battle lines in eastern DRC are similar to those of the Rwandan genocide in the 1990s.

U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Secretary of State John Kerry is expected Thursday to discuss the security situation in DRC with international and regional delegates during a meeting of the National Security Council.

Psaki said Tuesday the government was taking the allegations raised by Human Rights Watch seriously.

"We believe there is a credible body of evidence that supports the key findings of the Human Rights Watch report," she said during a press conference. "We call upon Rwanda to immediately end any support to the M23 [and] withdraw military personnel from eastern DRC."

U.S. Rep. Ed Royce, R-Calif., chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, sponsored a successful resolution in June calling on President Obama to mobilize a "comprehensive response" to prevent the further deterioration of regional peace.

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